Some Illinois criminology experts are asking lawmakers to hold off on trying to reinstate capital punishment in Illinois.

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) says he’ll introduce the idea in a couple of weeks when the Senate returns – he says the worst of the worst, including cop killers and mass murderers, should be dealt with harshly.

But Ryan Williams, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Illinois Springfield, says there’s no evidence capital punishment is a deterrent.

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“Decades of research has shown there’s little to no effect that capital punishment deters any more than an alternative non-capital punishment like life in prison without parole,” Williams says.

Williams also says cost arguments are suspect at best – while it costs a lot to incarcerate someone for life, it also costs a lot to conduct a death penalty trial. Williams says cases in Texas, for example, cost an average of 2.3 million dollars.


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